Poured Watercolor Workshop at Western Colorado Center for the Arts

For a successful pour, it is essential for the artist to have a strong design with connected interesting shapes and at least 4 delineated values.  In the photo below, Trudy transfers her value map, (large thumbnail) to her stretched watercolor paper.

transfer value map to watercolor paper
transfer value map to watercolor paper

Each value is masked in succession, with a separate pour for each mask.  The pouring process allows for spontaneous color mixtures.  Tilting the board after the pour allows the artist to “control” the direction of the color blending.

part 1- pouring the masked painting with a variety of paint pigments mixed to a predetermined value based on the artist's value map.
part 1- pouring the masked painting with a variety of paint pigments mixed to a predetermined value based on the artist’s value map.
Marilyn tilts her board to encourage the paint to move in a specific direction.

When the final pour is dry, the mask is removed, and the painting receives final touches to resolve the composition.  Sometimes an over-pour is required in different areas than the initial pours.  In that case, all mask is removed, and new mask is applied to areas where the initial pours are to be preserved.  Removing the final mask is like unwrapping a Christmas present.  By the final pour, the painting is quite obscured, and it’s always a surprise to see what lies underneath.

Helen removes her mask, revealing her poured, blended canyon landscape.
Helen removes her mask, revealing her poured, blended canyon landscape.

Because there is quite a lot of dry time between the masking and pouring process, each artist worked on at least two separate paintings simultaneously.  The photo shows workshop participants pleased with their results learning the poured process:

Each participant finished two paintings and had a third painting in progress to explore and finish at home.
Each participant finished two paintings and had a third painting in progress to explore and finish at home.  Helen plans to add more pours to her goats.  In the photo, the painting is still masked.  Because she has a strong design, the intent of the painting comes through, as does some of the color mixtures.

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